Blazing A Trail: John Wood returns home, opens MWAC play Saturda - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Blazing A Trail: John Wood returns home, opens MWAC play Saturday

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The John Wood Trail Blazers open MWAC conference play on Saturday against Danville at the Student Activity Center in Quincy. The John Wood Trail Blazers open MWAC conference play on Saturday against Danville at the Student Activity Center in Quincy.

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- As John Wood men's basketball coach Brad Hoyt jokes, he needs to fire his schedule maker.

Of the 18 games they've played this season the Trail Blazers have only hosted only four of those contests.

And for the record - Hoyt would have to give himself a pink slip because he makes the schedule.

Considering the road heavy schedule the Blazers have done pretty well for themselves with 11 wins, including a victory over national power Kirkwood earlier this season and they haven't lost in more than a month.

With each game Hoyt is seeing his youthful team come of age.

"I didn't know how long it was going to take with this group," he told WGEM Sports.

"I said from the very beginning that once we figured that out that this group would have a chance to be pretty special."

They've crossed the mid-way point of the season and seem to be gaining traction with each win. Forced to rely on mostly freshman, the young players have answered the call.

"I don't think we've got it all figured out, we've got a long way to go, but from a progress standpoint I think we've at least gotten to the bench mark that we wanted to get to at this point in the season," Hoyt said.

The schedule takes a significant turn for the much more difficult as conference play tips-off on Saturday afternoon against Danville.

"They want the game in the 80's and 90's and they'll pressure us and try to trap us," Hoyt expressed.

"They pose a sort of a different challenge for us but it's nothing that we haven't seen. I think through our first 18 games we've exposed our guys to different styles, and that being one of them, but conference play, league play is different."

"It's good to open at home, it's a good start to the conference season, and hopefully we come out and play well."

John Wood hits Mountain Dew Court at 4 p.m. on Saturday and will follow the women's team who's trying to inch closer to getting back to the .500 mark.
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